A fractured left hand to Dereck Chisora put an end to his rematch with Tyson Fury just one week before the combatants were due to meet in their highly anticipated second match. It’s left each man in a slight quandary as to what their next moves are, while both count the cost of an opportunity missed, at least temporarily.
When three potentially big fights involving the same man fall through inside 18 months it is hard to fathom exactly how frustrated that man would be. In this case, that man is Tyson Fury. Fury was set to fight David Haye last year, before the fight was postponed due a Haye injury. Haye then announced his retirement, leading to the cancellation of the fight.
Fury has made very public his ill feeling towards Haye, something not soothed by the fact Haye recently made public his desire to return to the ring. The rematch with Chisora was Fury’s opportunity to reignite a career temporarily stalled through no fault of his own, and it’s postponement will not aid his cause. Fury is a talented young heavyweight and has seemed on the verge of a step up for a long time now. With the Klitschko’s grip on the heavyweight belts finally loosening, Fury must despair at his externally imposed lack of activity.
Yet, he didn’t help his own cause by pulling out of his fight against scheduled replacement opponent Alexander Ustinov. Ustinov was a more than credible sub on last minute’s notice, and Fury bailed on the fight less than 24 hours out, after weighing in, due to family health issues. The move created some backlash which left Fury as a figure to disdain in this debacle, as opposed to one to sympathize with.
Chisora’s lost opportunity
Fury may have suffered through a series of unfortunate events, but this rematch meant a lot to Chisora too. He lost his first bout with Fury, and this rematch represented not only a chance to gain revenge, but also to bolster his hopes of gaining a world title shot.
After a great 2013, and having beaten Kevin Johnson comfortably earlier this year, the momentum of five straight wins and four stoppages has been temporarily stifled. It felt like the right time for Chisora to meet Fury, having gotten into fantastic shape physically and mentally and building a strong winning streak. Given there is no certainty the rematch will happen, with Fury initially unwilling to consider fighting Chisora in the future, the Londoner could have missed a great opportunity to get even with his rival.
The remaining options
Fury has already been linked to a fight with big-hitting Australian Lucas Browne, though he scotched such rumors by suggesting he would prefer that fight to take place with an alphabet world title on the line. Browne outpointed Andriy Rudenko last weekend, but did not look overly impressive in winning. It’s a winnable fight for Fury, and Browne has built some name recognition in England having fought there a number of times.
David Haye’s potential return is unlikely to involve any domestic dust-ups, making no mention of either Fury or Chisora in his plans. It leaves a real lack of options for both men, especially with Bermane Stiverne, Deontay Wilder and Bryant Jennings locked up for the foreseeable future in scuffles for Stiverne’s alphabet title.
All this means that no matter the resentment and frustration on Fury’s part, the rematch with Chisora is still the most sensible and achievable option. That said, after months of build-up and anticipation, the rematch being cancelled was a major buzz-kill for fight fans. Things turned more sour when Fury pulled out at the last-last minute of the Ustinov fight. Fury vs. Chisora II still may be the most viable option for the fighters, but do fans want to go through the drama yet again?